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New Vid Card Suggestions for older system

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 10, 2012 2:32:44 AM

Hello,
I currently have a SAPPHIRE TOXIC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Cardin a gigabyte ep45-up3d mobo with a Core 2 Quad Q9550 We want to upgrade our Graphics card. What would be compatible with this mobo? We are mainly playing games like Mass Effect 2 on Steam. Just can't afford to do a total system upgrade right now.
a c 560 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 2:42:41 AM

What is the make and model of your power supply unit?

What is your graphics card budget?
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 2:47:37 AM

Your system is still more than enough for gaming and with a gpu upgrade it should last a few more years playing the latest games at high-ish settings.

In regards to the mobo any of the current top of the line single cards (7970, GTX680) will run fine without any bottleneck from the PCIE bus. Simply get the best single graphics card you can afford.

Give that Q9550 a healthy dose of OC and a 7970 and you'll be golden for a few more years.
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July 10, 2012 3:10:36 AM

Sorry, forgot to include the PSU and case: I have a CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready PSU and a Cooler Master Storm Sniper case. I am running Win 7 64 bit home premium and have 8GB of G.Skill PI Black DDR2 800 RAM. Any other upgrade advice would be appreciated! My budget is about $200-$250 at the most for the Graphic card.

Thanks guys!!
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July 10, 2012 3:15:20 AM

Oops! Forgot my display: Viewsonic 27" 1080p LED LCD panel. Looks good at native resolution of 1920 X 1080 for most Steam games.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 3:21:47 AM

That PSU is more than enough for any of the current single card lineup. For your budget a 7850 is spot on, pretty nice upgrade from a 4870 too. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 3:27:38 AM

Go with 7850 if u r strapped on cash and 7870 if u willing to pay additional $50.
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July 10, 2012 3:29:13 AM

That is exactly the only I was thinking about. Read good things about this card as being a great "bang for the buck" solution. Really would like the Sapphire version but Newegg is currently out of stock.
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July 10, 2012 3:55:36 AM

If I did decide to increase the budget and go with the 7870, I noticed the HD 7870 requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power cables for operation and the HD 7850 requires only 1. Will my set up support the HD 7870 requirements? I will need to go hunting for the cables the PSU came with, right? It has been awhile since we built this machine. :pt1cable:  I read the tech power up reviews of both of the cards but not specific brands.
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a c 560 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 3:58:45 AM

Elizabeth_B said:
If I did decide to increase the budget and go with the 7870, I noticed the HD 7870 requires two 6-pin PCI-Express power cables for operation and the HD 7850 requires only 1. Will my set up support the HD 7870 requirements? I will need to go hunting for the cables the PSU came with, right? It has been awhile since we built this machine. :pt1cable:  I read the tech power up reviews of both of the cards but not specific brands.

That power supply is more than sufficient to handle a single Radeon HD 7870 card.

Yes, you'll need to hunt down that second modular 6-pin PCIe power cable.
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 3:59:47 AM

The 620HX has all the connectors you need for a 7870.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 4:00:12 AM

I have similar hardware. I now run a 2gig 6950 on it. Best upgrade I made for that machine. Having said that........ processor IS holding the card back.
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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 5:16:42 AM

Not to a significant extent if you put on a decent OC, not that he won't get better fps with say an 4ghz 2500k but the performance will scale accordingly if you offload the gpu still (by lowering res or other settings) even with cpu he has now.

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a b U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 5:18:34 AM

Meaning that if the 7850 is on average say 80% faster than a 4870 he will still get the 80% improvement in performance, but offcourse it'll still be slower than a high-clocked quadcore Sandy or Ivy Bridge.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 5:53:32 AM

depending on how you measure "performance"................ any new card from a 6950 on up would be more than his processor could push to it's max........ but will be a significant upgrade over the 4870.
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July 10, 2012 12:25:03 PM

Could someone help me understand this a little better? Since I cannot afford to upgrade the whole build and I am stuck with the current mobo/cpu/ddr2 set up; would it be a waste of $$ to go as high as the 7850 or even the 7870? Is there a "fairly" good upgrade that will not be overkill? Forgot to mention: we do want to play Skyrim soon as tis is part of why we want to upgrade the card. Don't know if that makes any difference as to the recommendations and an Nvidia solution or an ATI solution.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 12:54:24 PM

6950 on up........... get a card with 2gigs of vram. your processor will hold back whatever you buy but that's okay. you don't really want to go less. been there........ so yes, either card would be fine.
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a c 560 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 3:46:17 PM

Elizabeth_B said:
Could someone help me understand this a little better? Since I cannot afford to upgrade the whole build and I am stuck with the current mobo/cpu/ddr2 set up; would it be a waste of $$ to go as high as the 7850 or even the 7870? Is there a "fairly" good upgrade that will not be overkill? Forgot to mention: we do want to play Skyrim soon as tis is part of why we want to upgrade the card. Don't know if that makes any difference as to the recommendations and an Nvidia solution or an ATI solution.

Skyrim

Minimum Requirements
INTEL CPU: Celeron E1200 Dual-Core 1.6GHz
AMD CPU: Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3600+
Nvidia GPU: Quadro FX 380 LP
AMD GPU: Radeon HD 3600 Series
RAM: 1 GB
OS: Win Xp 32
Direct X: DX 9
HDD Space: 6 GB

Recommended Requirements
INTEL CPU: Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz
AMD CPU: Phenom II X4 920
Nvidia GPU: GeForce GTX 260
AMD GPU: Radeon HD 4890
RAM: 4 GB
OS: Win 7 64
Direct X: DX 9
HDD Space: 6 GB

Your current system is already very close to the recommended system requirements. Your current graphics card is just one model below the Radeon HD 4890. Your CPU is already better than the recommended CPU.

Try it and see if it works for you. If it doesn't then get the new graphics card.

If you want to get the graphics card anyway then get the Radeon HD 7850.
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a c 105 U Graphics card
July 10, 2012 4:19:51 PM

skyrim won't run decent on a 260. stop relying on manufacturers specs.
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July 17, 2012 2:14:03 AM

Best answer selected by Elizabeth_B.
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